Know why you’re selling and keep it to yourself
The reasons behind your decision to sell affects everything from setting the price to deciding how much time and money to invest in getting your home ready for sale. What’s more important to you: the money you walk away with, the length of time your property is on the market or both? Different goals will dictate different strategies.
Do your homework before setting a price
Settling on an offer price shouldn’t be done lightly. Once you’ve set your price, you’ve told buyers the absolute maximum they have to pay for your home, but pricing too high is as dangerous as pricing too low. Remember that the average buyer is looking at 15-20 homes at the same time they are considering yours. This means that they have a basis of comparison and if your home doesn’t compare favourably with others in the price range you’ve set, you won’t be taken seriously by prospects or agents. As a result, your home will sit on the market for a long time and knowing this, new buyers on the market will think there must be something wrong with your home.
The truth is it doesn’t really matter how much money you think your home is worth. Nor does it matter what your agent thinks or ten other agents just like them. The person whose opinion matters is the buyer who makes an offer.
(In fact, your agent should do this for you.) Find out what homes in your own and similar neighbourhoods have sold for in the past 6-12 months and research what current homes are listed for. That’s certainly how prospective buyers will assess the worth of your home.
Maximize your home’s sales potential
You may not be able to change your home’s location or floor plan, but you can do a lot to improve it’s appearance. The look and feel of your home generates a greater emotional response than any other factor. Before showings, clean like you’ve never cleaned before. Pick up, straighten, unclutter, scrub, scour and dust.
Fix everything no matter how insignificant it may appear. Present your home to get a ‘WOW’ response from prospective buyers. Allow the buyers to imagine themselves living in your home. The decision to buy a home is based on emotion, not logic. Prospective buyers want to try on your home just like they would a new suit of clothes. If you follow them around pointing out improvements or if your decor is so different that it’s difficult for a buyer to strip it away in his or her mind, you make it difficult for them to feel comfortable enough to imagine themselves an owner.
Know your buyer
In the negotiation process, your objective is to control the pace and set the duration. What is your buyer’s motivation? Do they need to move quickly? Do they have enough money to pay you your asking price? Knowing this information gives you the upper hand in the negotiation because you know how far you can push to get what you want.
Make sure the contract is complete
Smart sellers fulfill their legal requirements to disclose all known defects to their buyers in writing. If the buyer knows about a problem, they can’t come back with a lawsuit later on. Make sure all terms, costs and responsibilities are spelled out in the contract of sale and resist the temptation to diverge from the contract. For example, if the buyer requests a move-in prior to closing, just say no. Now is not the time to take any chances of the deal falling through.